Oct/Nov 2013 Poetry

Three Poems

by Lainey S. Cronk

Electronic/fiber artwork by Phillip Stearns

Electronic/fiber artwork by Phillip Stearns


One crow
beside a clean pebble path, as in a tidy painting,
turns her obsidian head, certainly symbolizing
that will lend itself to little lines of black ink
measured out across my narrow page—
but what, I've no idea,
light bulbs all unscrewed and lying aimlessly
about the attic, out of their protective sleeves,
and inspiration off in the Adirondacks with a recent lover,
spending a small tax refund and oblivious
to me, back home, walking the edge of an old black road
in dirty gray sneakers, passing a symbolic and lovely
crow which, at least for now, will have to be
nothing more than a large, dark bird.


Came Crows

With the last great storm of spring
came crows, scattered through the school grounds
after the final rain,
displeasing themselves by being so many
in such close proximity
beating their obsidian wings—
perfectly gleaming in every eventuality—
through the spaces between classrooms
and brushing them against tabletop puddles
as if every blackness of every raincloud
were distilled, preserved, and left
so that we might not forget
who cleanses our small world
and makes it grow.



It was not the hawk's scream
that woke me today
nor the shattering silence
given by a cirrus cloud across
an amber sky (the true color
of blood and love)
but the laundry room, the four superimposed rhythms
of the dryer against sharp shadows
on a canvas laundry hamper
and, beside a yellow paint smear
on the cement floor, a small black bug
traveling across the endless landscape
of his life. It was this that stirred
a ripple in my blood, that made me feel
the stomach lining and remember
how crisply, how briefly
a soul with my name moves
between chairs and oxygen molecules
with the prescient grace of a beginning swimmer,
making tiny slapping waves against
a very far shore.


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